Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
Consultation on the Section 18 Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Schemes for the packaging, electronics and lighting sectors is being concluded.
The environment, forestry and fisheries minister, Barbara Creecy, confirmed this during the debate on the 2021 State of the Nation Address.
The minister added that, once fully implemented, the “schemes will assist us to divert a hundred thousand tons of waste a year from landfills; provide secure employment to more than twenty thousand people and ensure more than seven billion rand in new investment”.
Implementation of the EPR Regulations was recently postponed to 5 May 2021.
In an earlier statement, the environment, forestry and fisheries department confirmed that the postponement follows a request from affected producers to make further inputs into the implementation process.
The department added that the minister decided to amend the Regulations and Notices to “allow additional time for the registration, development and submission of EPR schemes”.
Producers will also be able to make additional amendments should these be necessary.
All existing producers and producer responsibility organisations must now register with the department before 5 November 2021.
During the debate, the minister also pointed out that the Presidential Employment Stimulus has helped to create 50 000 tourism work opportunities in rural communities “almost ten thousand of which are in our national parks and involve infrastructure repairs and upgrades so that our facilities are in good shape when international tourism returns”.
The minister also indicated that, via the Forestry Master Plan, the re-capitalisation of state-owned forests will commence this year.
“This initiative will result in the development of Owner Growers and co-operatives, a major transformation initiative in the forestry sector.”